Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC


  Contact : 336-992-5664

All posts by Monte Long

Fact or Fiction? Debunking Deer Collisions

Debunking Deer Collisions – Fact or Fiction

Watching deer in their natural habitat can be an enjoyable, peaceful experience. But encountering one on a roadway? That’s a different story.

If it’s happened to you… you’re not alone. More than 1.5 million drivers are involved in deer collisions each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, causing nearly $1 billion in vehicle damage. (Learn how auto insurance can help you if you hit a deer.)

We’ve already shared tips on how toavoid hitting a deer if one jumps in front of your car. But what about those common bits of folklore that everyone seems to have heard about deer collisions? Is there any truth to those?

Below are six common myths you may have heard… along with some facts to back them up.

  • Myth: Deer are more active at sunrise and sunset.Status: True. While deer can—and do—cross the road at all hours of the day, dusk and dawn are their peak hours of activity. Deer are “crepuscular” animals. That’s a fancy way of saying they move the most during twilight. So if you’re driving as the sun is rising or coming home from work at dusk… be especially careful.
  • Myth: You’re more likely to hit a deer in the fall. Status: True. Nearly half of all deer/vehicle collisions happen between October and December. Not coincidentally, deer mating season and peak hunting days also fall between these months. As deer are running from hunters or looking for a mate… odds are they’ll cross a road somewhere in between.Related:Top 4 Fall Driving Hazards (And How to Handle Them)
  • Myth: Deer whistles can prevent collisions.Status: False. Deer whistles attach to your vehicle and are said to emit a frequency that alerts deer of your presence and send them running away. Despite anecdotal evidence – we all probably know someone who swears by their deer whistle! – no credible study has proven them to be effective. One research study at the University of Georgia found that no matter how loud or high-pitched the whistle, the sound isn’t enough to alter the deer’s behavior. Tried-and-tested technology like crash avoidance features might give you more (or… less?) bang for your buck.
  • Myth: Hitting a deer isn’t that dangerous.Status: False.  Nobody wants to face the repair costs of a deer collision. But in many instances, these crashes cause more than just inconvenience. In 2016, the IIHS recorded 189 deaths from collisions with animals. It’s important to note that the most serious injuries occur when a vehicle leaves the roadway—so know when to swerve, and when to stay in your lane.Related:When is a car considered totaled… and what happens when it is?
  • Myth: More deer are present at “deer crossing” signs.Status: True. If you encounter a deer crossing sign, it’s there for a reason.  Signs are installed in areas with high deer populations and a history of deer collisions. Additional factors that can lead to crashes, such as road conditions and visibility, also inform where deer crossing signs are placed. (And before anyone asks: The signs, of course, are for people to read… not the deer.)
  • Myth: If I hit a deer, I can take home the meat.Status: It depends. If you have a taste for venison, you may be tempted to make the best of an unfortunate situation by taking the unlucky animal home with you. But first, check with the authorities – it’s usually the body that regulates hunting in your state, such as the Game Commission or the Fish and Wildlife Division. (Here’s a helpful list, organized by state.) In some states you’re free to take the animal, but not before filing a police report or applying for a special permit or tag. In other states, it’s downright illegal.

Does my auto insurance cover hitting a deer?

Deer-vehicle collisions are covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance, which is an optional coverage you can choose to add on. (Learn more about understanding your auto policy.) An insurance professional like a local Erie Insurance agent can help you customize an auto insurance package that fits your needs and budget.

Read More
Life Insurance FAQs

Weird Life Insurance Questions

Life insurance, by its very nature, is deeply personal. It transforms the vulnerable into the secure.

It can also leave you wondering – how does that all work, anyway?

Keep reading for answers to a few curious questions you’ve probably wondered about life insurance… but were too afraid to ask.

Q: I HAVE A DANGEROUS HOBBY. CAN I STILL GET LIFE INSURANCE?

A: In many cases, yes – but expect to answer some questions and (probably) pay a little extra to account for the additional risk.

Before giving you a quote, your local insurance agent may ask you to fill out a written questionnaire to understand more about your hobby.  At ERIE, that includes hobbies such as:

  • Rock climbing
  • Vehicle racing (stock cars, drag racing, motorcycles, etc.)
  • Aviation
  • Sky diving
  • Scuba diving

The questionnaire will ask you some basic information to understand your hobby. This could include:

  • How long you’ve been doing this hobby
  • How frequently you participate
  • Any training, education or certifications you’ve received
  • If you ever get paid or hired for your hobby (as opposed to just doing it for fun)
  • Future goals or plans for your hobby

It’s important to be honest when filling out your questionnaire. If you fudge the details in an attempt to seem less risky… that could be grounds for denying a claim later on. Your completed questionnaire is sent to the life insurance underwriter, who determines the scope of the risk – and ultimately helps calculate the rate you’ll pay.

For example: Let’s say you’re into rock climbing. Does that mean you climb indoors with friends once in a while at the local gym? Or are you planning a trip to the Himalayas to go ice climbing alone? Similarly, if you have a private pilot license – are you taking occasional short trips for business? Or are you regularly stunt flying in air shows on the weekends?

You get the idea… it’s all about calculating that risk.

Q: IF I QUIT SMOKING, CAN I GET RE-RATED TO SAVE MONEY ON LIFE INSURANCE?

A: First things first: Good for you!

As for your life insurance: Generally speaking, yes – you can ask your local agent to get your existing policy re-rated.  Before you do, though, you’ll likely have to show some stability in those lifestyle changes for a year or two to prove that you’re in this for the long haul.

What happens next may differ, depending on the circumstances. (Your agent can explain the specifics as they pertain to you.)

If you quit smoking because you’re just ready to live a healthier lifestyle – great! With no complications, you could get bumped from the “smoker “to the “nonsmoker” rate classification (and likely save some money in the process).

But, if you quit for a medical reason – such as a diagnosis of COPD or lung cancer – that’s a health concern that could impact the cost savings you’d otherwise see from quitting smoking. Your agent will ask you to fill out a questionnaire to get the specifics on why and how you quit.

Q: WHAT IF I LOSE 50 POUNDS? COULD I GET RE-RATED THEN?

Similar to the smoking example above, expect some follow-up questions about your weight loss. For example: “How and why did you lose the weight?” There are risks that come with weight loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass or lap band surgeries. Similarly, if you dropped a bunch of weight without even trying to… that could be the sign of a worrisome chronic illness or depression. If you start or stop taking certain medications because of your weight loss, that could also affect your rate.

If your weight loss is the product of good ol’ fashioned discipline, diet and exercise: Once you show you can keep it off (and provide any necessary test results and information), you could get bumped to a more favorable rate class.

Remember, insurance rates are all about data and probability. When it comes to weight loss, most carriers will add at least 50% of the weight back when they calculate your new rate. Why? Statistically speaking, if you drop a bunch of weight, studies show you’re likely to gain at least some of it back.

Ask your ERIE agent about re-rating your policy if or when your circumstances change.

TALK TO A LOCAL ERIE AGENT FOR A LIFE INSURANCE QUOTE

Have a weird or embarrassing insurance question? Don’t be shy: Our local agents are licensed professionals – they’re not here to judge.

Find a local ERIE agent near you to get the conversation started, or request a life insurance quote online.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LIFE INSURANCE

Read about ERIE’s life insurance offerings or check out these related blog posts:

Read More
Auto Deductible

How to Choose an Auto Deductible

Auto DeductibleThere are many choices you need to make when it comes to choosing the right auto insurance. When it comes to customizing your policy, one of the biggest decisions is what deductible amount you will choose.

WHAT IS A DEDUCTIBLE IN AUTO INSURANCE?

Your deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay toward fixing or repairing your car before your insurance kicks in. Deductibles typically only apply to collision and comprehensive coverage. (There may be other cases where you could have a deductible – for example, uninsured motorist property damage – so ask your agent about all coverages with deductibles.)

Here’s an example scenario: Let’s say you’re involved in an accident and the repair estimate from the auto repair shop is $2,000. If you have a $500 deductible, you will be responsible for paying $500 and then your insurance will take care of the remaining $1,500.

Most people choose a deductible between $100 and $1,000, although they could possibly be as low as $0 or as high as $10,000, depending on the coverage and applicable state laws. Your agent can help  explain your options so you can pick an amount that’s comfortable for you.

DOES ERIE INSURANCE OFFER A DIMINISHING DEDUCTIBLE?

Yep, we have that! Read more about how the Erie Auto Plus* endorsement can help with a diminishing deductible (and a lot more) for about $30 more per year.

DO I ALWAYS HAVE TO PAY MY DEDUCTIBLE AFTER AN ACCIDENT?

If you’re deemed at fault for an accident, you typically pay the deductible under your own policy. If another person damages your vehicle and they are deemed at fault, their insurance would typically pay for your damage in its entirety. In that case, you wouldn’t be responsible for paying the deductible under your own policy.

HOW DOES YOUR DEDUCTIBLE AFFECT YOUR PREMIUM?

Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premium (which is just a fancy word for price). The lower your deductible, the more you will typically pay for your insurance premium.

Related: What Determines the Price of My Auto Insurance?

Not sure what to pick? No worries – your ERIE agent is here to help.

Your agent can offer you multiple quotes with different deductibles. They can also explain how changing your deductible can affect your annual premium – or show you the cost savings between different options over multiple years. Ultimately, they want you to fully understand your options and feel confident about your decision.

Let’s take a look at the basics.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE

It’s all about your budget – and your comfort level with risk. Here are some things to consider about deductibles when you talk with your agent:

  1. Your budget: Ask yourself: What’s the amount of money I would be comfortable paying if I need to repair my vehicle? The lower your deductible, the less you will have to pay out of pocket if you have to file a claim, but your overall car insurance premium will be higher.It works the opposite way, as well.  If you have a high deductible, you will have a lower car insurance premium – but you’ll pay more out of pocket if you file a claim. This decision comes down to personal preference and what you can afford within your current budget.
  2. Drive time: Think about the amount of time you spend driving on a daily or weekly basis. If you’re in your car a lot – or driving in more accident-prone areas – you might be exposed to more risk than someone who drives less.
  3. Value of your vehicle: The more expensive the vehicle, the more it costs to insure. In that scenario, a high deductible could help you save on your premium. However, if you have a car loan, some lenders stipulate that your deductible should not exceed a certain amount. Check with your lender to be sure.

See also: Find Out the One Insurance Add-On Every New Car Needs

One final tip: Whatever deductible you choose, it’s smart to have that amount of cash on hand in your emergency fund. That way you’re financially prepared if you end up having to file a claim.

Read More
Lending My Car

Am I Covered When I Lend My Car to Friends or Family?

If you own a car, chances are you’ve let a friend or family member borrow it at least once.

After all, there are plenty of reasons to hand over the keys. Maybe you needed a relative to pick up your kids from school. Or you’re helping someone get to work after their car broke down.

But did you know that in the event of an accident… it’s your auto insurance policy that typically would have to pay?

“By far, the number one misconception about loaning out your vehicle is that if you let your neighbor borrow your car, an accident should go on his insurance because he was the one driving,” said Dave Freeman, vice president and regional underwriting officer at Erie Insurance. “But in private passenger auto insurance, the coverage typically follows the vehicle, not the driver.”

Let’s break it down.

DOES MY CAR INSURANCE COVER OTHER DRIVERS?

If you’re an ERIE customer, insured drivers include:

  • Resident relatives: Most ERIE personal auto policies provide coverage to the named insured, their spouse or domestic partner and any other resident relatives. So if someone is a member of your family and lives in your home, they’re automatically an insured under your policy unless excluded.
  • Domestic partners: If someone lives with you but isn’t a relative, they are not named insureds under your policy. However, if you’re living with a domestic partner, they can be added to your policy as a named insured but only if your relationship is the long-term, committed type – you share domestic responsibilities and have joint financial obligations. All you have to do is call your agent and let them know. They’ll send out a short driver questionnaire and check your partner’s driving record to determine eligibility.Related: What Insurance Do You Need When You Move in Together?
  • Someone with permissive use: If you loaned out your car to a friend or neighbor, your ERIE policy generally will cover them – as long as you gave your permission. If they are a regular and repeated user of the car, they should also have coverage. The only exception is if a driver has been specifically excluded on your policy.

Finally: If someone else is regularly driving your car, it’s important to let your agent know.

Chances are, anyone you let borrow your car will fall into one of these three categories. But just because someone is covered doesn’t mean loaning your car is risk-free.

LOANING YOUR CAR: CONSIDER THE PROS AND CONS

Here’s the good news: If the driver falls into one of the three categories above, and the loss is covered under the terms of your policy, your insurance can help pay for the damage – even if you weren’t the one driving.

But here’s the tricky part: Depending on the situation – and the specifics of your policy – you might get stuck paying a surcharge on your auto insurance premium for an at-fault accident, even if you weren’t the one driving at the time. (Every policy is different, so ask your ERIE agent if this applies to you.)

Related: What Determines the Price of My Auto Insurance?

According to Freeman, most people don’t think about these ‘what if’ scenarios before lending their car.

“When you loan someone your car, you’re putting your name out there as a responsible party,” he explains. “You’ll be protected within the limits of your auto policy, but there’s always a chance of something happening that exceeds them.”

For instance, if your neighbor runs a stop sign and causes significant injuries and property damage, you could be responsible for paying any amounts owed above the limits on your policy. That means you could be sued for your neighbor’s negligent actions because they were using your vehicle. Liability in these situations varies by state, so check with your ERIE agent if you have specific questions.

And then, there’s the question of what actually constitutes “permissive use.” For example, maybe your daughter goes off to college and lets her friend borrow a car that’s in your name – but you, as the named insured, didn’t give permission. Is her accident covered? The answer could vary based on case law in each state.

Related: Whose Insurance Pays When My Friend Crashes My Car?

If you do have to file a claim, rest easy. Your ERIE agent can help you understand the ins and outs of your policy, and our award-winning claims service gives you prompt and personal attention to get back to normal.

“At ERIE we look for a reason to pay a claim, not a reason to turn one down,” said Freeman. “We want to find a way to pay your claim if the coverage is available. After all, that’s why you bought a policy.”

So here’s the moral of the story: Always make sure you understand your liability before loaning out a vehicle.

Read More
Auto Insurance Endorsements

Understanding Auto Insurance Endorsements

Auto Insurance EndorsementsThink of auto insurance endorsements as “added options” to your auto policy. Just like you could customize your vehicle, endorsements allow you to customize your coverage. Sometimes endorsements are as simple as an address or name change, or when you want to add coverage to your current policy.

An endorsement is also a good way to add extra coverage to your policy without having to purchase an entirely new one. Your ERIE agent can walk you through your policy and let you know which endorsements you currently have on your policy and if there are any additional endorsements that make sense to add.

Here are a few popular choices.

4 COMMON AUTO INSURANCE ENDORSEMENTS

  • Relax, you’re getting a rental: ERIE offers Transportation Expense coverage1 for customers who don’t have access to their vehicle for a particular time period due to a covered accident or other covered loss.

    Basic rental car coverage for a compact car due to a covered comprehensive coverage loss is automatically included in your auto policy in most states if you’ve purchased comprehensive coverage. However, if you need a larger vehicle or Transportation Expense coverage for a collision loss, there are options to buy additional coverage (With ERIE you can choose from six different classes of vehicle rentals, each with a corresponding premium rate).

    You can also purchase ERIE’s Roadside & Rentals bundle, which has options to include Roadside Service coverage2 along with Transportation Expense coverage.

  • Secure Your Rate: With the ERIE Rate Lock® feature, you can pay the same premium year after year. Even if you have a claim, your rates won’t change until you make certain changes to your auto insurance policy, such as adding or removing a vehicle or driver from your policy or changing your primary residence.3

  • Poof: Gone! The ERIE Auto Plus® endorsement includes Diminishing Deductible and extends limits to the basic auto policy. For around $30, you can cover all of the vehicles listed on your policy with higher limits to many of our “Xtra Protection Features.” And for each consecutive claims-free policy year (beginning when this endorsement is added), the deductible amount will be reduced by $100 up to a maximum reduction of $500. It also includes a $10,000 death benefit.4

  • True Blue Replacement: ERIE’s New Auto Security coverage endorsement5 offers customers the opportunity to replace a totaled vehicle without worry of depreciation. If your new car is less than two years old and it gets totaled, ERIE will reimburse you the cost to replace it with a vehicle of the newest model year. And if your car is more than two years old, ERIE will pay the cost to replace it with another vehicle of the same model up to two years newer with similar mileage. How nice is that?

When it comes to your auto insurance, you’ve got a lot of choices. When you choose ERIE, you can feel confident about your coverage. Why? Because every policy comes with a local insurance agent to help you understand how your policy works, what it can help protect, and how to customize it based on your needs (and budget).

Read More
Duane Long - Monte Long

Duane Long + Monte Long

We provide Property, Casualty and Life insurance for personal and commercial needs.
Individual: Home, Auto, Life, etc. … Business, Prop., Casualty, WC, etc.

See https://www.facebook.com/DuaneLongInsurance/ for local news!

Read More